Volcano spews chaos for international shipments, too

Apr 20, 2010

Flights resume Tuesday after 95,000+ canceled flights

Even as many flights resume today, international shipping companies still face global disruptions from air traffic closures caused by Iceland’s volcano last Wednesday that spewed ash over Europe, according to a story in Daily Finance  by Bruce Kennedy.

The article highlights worldwide shipping disruptions rivaling those of the three days the U.S. closed air space in the 9/11 aftermath.

  • FedEx halted thousands of freight shipments from the U.S. bound for Europe to control system backlogs and suspended any promise of overnight or even three-day deliveries to Europe. “We have had to suspend the money-back guarantee,” says Fedex’s Davenport, “because acts of nature beyond our control are not covered.”
  • Last week, UPS’s Norman Black said, “if someone is sending something time-sensitive and it’s international…it’s coming from the U.S. or Latin America or Asia or the Middle East — the short answer is, it’s not moving.”
  • DHL cargo planes were rerouted to alternative hubs such as Bergamo, Italy and, like other carriers, defaulted to ground transportation wherever and however possible.

After six days and more than 95,000 canceled flights, the Eurocontrol air traffic agency in Brussels cleared just under half of Europe’s 27,500 flights Tuesday, the AP reports.

Has your fleet been affected by the disruption? Is your business prepared for the unpredictable? Much less than a volcano can negatively blow up your bottom line.

Photo courtesy of Hello, I am Bruce under the Creative Commons License